Improvements in the Spanish property market mean that one of Spain’s biggest banks aims “to offer fewer discounts,” according to Jaime Guardiola, MD of Banco Sabadell.
The new policy was mentioned at a press conference to present the bank’s 2014 annual results. “There’s a clear rise in the number of transactions, with price increases in some areas,” Guardiola explained, though he qualified this by saying that whilst the “appetite for investment in the wholesale sector” is growing, consumer demand for homes is not growing as fast.
As demand grows, and the excess inventory of property on the market dwindles in some areas, pricing power is showing the first signs of returning to vendors. Solvia, the bank’s property arm, is responding with a policy of offering fewer and smaller discounts wherever it can.
In 2014, the balance of sales of property via the bank’s subsidiary Solvia reached €2,744 million with a total of 16,172 units sold. These figures exceeded the group’s objectives by 10.3 per cent. Guardiola referred to the development of Solvia to explain that “we’re building a separate unit to the bank, with its own strong and easily recognisable branding”.
“Once it has launched in its own right, we want to use it to maximum advantage,” said the bank’s managing director, highlighting that Solvia does not just deal with Sabadell assets but also works for third parties. “It’s yet another player in the market, one of the biggest and strongest,” said Guardiola and he pointed out that the idea is “to reinforce this concept so it has its own value that it’s more and more recognised.”